By The Loop Team • 24 September, 2020

How much does my washing machine and tumble dryer cost to run?

Your washing machine is likely to be a real workhorse, especially in a family home, where you may use it every day. 

The same can be true for a tumble dryer, particularly if you can’t hang clothes and linen out on the line. 

But just much do these two stalwart home appliances cost to run? And can you cut that cost down at all?

How much does a washing machine cost to run?

According to Energy Saving Trust, a 7kg washing machine used 220 times a year will cost an average of around £25 - £35 a year to run.

You can, however, take some actions that would help cut this cost:

  • When your machine needs replacing, buy an efficient A+++ rated machine. It’ll save you around £5 each year compared with an A+ rated one (the difference with a G rated machine would be even greater). To help you navigate the different energy efficiency labels and get to grip with the annual costs of running an appliance, the Top Ten UK website is a great place to start.
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  • Try and run it at 30 degrees or lower. You can always soak heavily soiled items before washing.
  • Fill it up: if for whatever reason you need to run your machine without filling it up totally, then use the half load programme if your machine has one. 
  • Spin your clothes on the highest spin cycle to remove as much water as possible, so they will dry more quickly in the tumble dryer.

How much does a tumble dryer cost to run?

As with other appliances, the costs of running tumble dryers varies hugely depending on how modern and efficient your machine is. According to Which? annual running costs can vary from as little as £23 to more than £140 a year. 

The consumer group says that condenser tumble dryers with heat pump technology can lead to big savings on your energy bills; they’re expensive but can cost less than half to run than other types.

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As well as buying the most efficient tumble dryer possible, here are some other tips to dry efficiently: 

  • Fill up (but don’t overfill!) your tumble dryer, but also sort through your washing to only put items in the dryer that really need to be in there.
  • Top Tip: It’s counter-intuitive, but add a dry tea towel to the wet load. Tests have found it reduces drying time considerably, by up to half an hour for a full load.
  • Regularly remove fluff from the filters. 
  • Do up the buttons or stoppers on duvet covers to stop other items of laundry getting stuck inside and not drying properly. Some people also swear by dryer balls.
  • Don’t dry for longer than needed. 
  • When possible, take advantage of the sunshine by hanging clothes on the line instead of running the tumble dryer.
  • Turn off both your tumble dryer and washing machine at the plug when not in use.

There you have it: clean and dry clothes at a smaller cost to you and the environment!

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